Supporting structured linguistic literacy at home with games and decodable reading books – by Clair Wilson This article was originally published in the January 2023 issue of Dystinct Magazine. Click here for free access to this issue until December 2024. Reading is one of the most important skills we want our children to learn. We…Read More
Structured Linguistic Literacy
Bridging phonics and phonemic awareness to build proficient readers
Phonemic awareness and letter-sound knowledge are the biggest indicators of how well a child will learn to read in the first two years of school. Yet phonemic awareness and letter-sound knowledge are NOT the end goal. Our end goal will always be proficient readers. To reach that end, we must work to instruct children on…Read More
Cultural shift from letter names to sounds
Happy Spring!! The weather is getting warmer, the flowers will be in bloom, and the Kindergarten Center teachers are wondering when it will be time to teach letter names! For those of you who did not read, “Lynbrook Takes the Lead on Long Island,” the Lynbrook School District is revamping its reading curriculum and is…Read More
What is the role of decodable texts?
As conversations about effective literacy instruction continue in schools and on social media, questions about the definition, use, and purpose of decodable texts inevitably arise. I’ve even heard these books described as a “battleground”. I recently watched a presentation on literacy to the school committee in a local district, where phonics teaching is currently layered…Read More
Lynbrook leads the way on Long Island
Over the years, it has become apparent that the Reading Workshop/Guided Reading model of instruction, popular in U.S. schools, does not produce the results promised. Special Education numbers have increased, and many children get labeled, unnecessarily, as having a “reading disability.” It is undoubtedly a huge undertaking to put the brakes on and start fresh.…Read More
Should we be rethinking reading instruction? NYC’s new Schools Chancellor thinks so!
Many educators in the USA are rethinking reading instruction. In 2019 less than 30% of fourth graders were found to be proficient readers. What has gone wrong for so many children? The core of the problem is that teachers’ approach to reading was based on a misplaced belief system called ‘balanced literacy’. They held understandable…Read More
Can Lucy Calkins’ changing views shift the way millions of children are taught to read?
The news has been spreading that Lucy Calkins, head of the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project (TCRWP), has been learning about the science of reading and making changes to her guidance and widely used curricula. Throughout her career, she has often characterized phonics as ‘low-level’ work that should be minimized and has promoted top-down…Read More